We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.

Home meal delivery services have been around for some time, but during the pandemic, the use of them exploded. Even though we’re not in lockdown anymore, now that people have discovered the convenience of these services, they aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Thankfully, these services have helped millions of people feel more comfortable preparing home-cooked meals on their own.

The best thing about there now being so many options is there is something out there for everyone regardless of dietary restrictions, budget, or preference between microwaveable or partially-prepared meals. But which one is best for you?

RELATED: Best Meal Delivery for Weight Loss

Our team of certified personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and everyday people personally tested nearly 50 of the best meal delivery services including options for experienced cooks and non-cooks alike. Our experts assessed each service for factors such as:

  • Quality of ingredients: Are the ingredients fresh?
  • Variety of food catering to specific diets: Do they have multiple keto or vegan meals, or just one or two?
  • Prep time: How long until your food is ready to eat?
  • Customizations: Does the company offer a lot of variety?

In addition to rating these for factors like taste and cost, we also had them reviewed by two registered dietitians, Destini Moody, R.D., and Perry Nix, R.D.

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider.

12 Best Meal Delivery Services 

Best Overall Meal Delivery Service: Home Chef

Good for: People who want options in terms of prep time and meal customization

Best Overall

Home Chef

GGR Score: 4.1 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Can choose from meal kits, pre-made meals, or grill-ready ingredients
  • Recipes can accommodate two, four or six people, and you can get up to six meals per week
  • No specific meal plans, but you can narrow down your choices
  • Menu changes weekly, with up to 30 meals to choose from
  • Requires a subscription, but you can cancel or skip a week anytime

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Menu changes weekly to prevent food boredom
  • Options for meal kits or pre-made meals
  • Can skip a week if you don’t need a delivery
  • Can accommodate larger groups and families (many meal delivery services cap out at four servings per recipe)
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Doesn’t accommodate a lot of dietary restrictions
  • Options can be limited if you’re on a specific diet
  • Requires a subscription (that you can skip or cancel, but you have to remember)

Bottom Line

Home Chef is a meal delivery service that gives you options between meal kits, heat-and-eat meals, and grill-ready selections. It does require a subscription, but you can cancel any time or skip a week if you don’t want a shipment.

Home Chef is a flexible meal delivery kit that we crowned the best overall due to its flexibility in plans, versatility in meal type, quality of flavor and ingredients, and great customer service. Home Chef is owned by grocery store Kroger, and you can find some of their meals in the national grocery store chain.

The company provides fresh and easy-to-cook gourmet meals like mustard pretzel-crusted chicken, maple dijon-glazed salmon, and one-pan Korean-style barbecue meatballs.

Our tester, Emily, has used multiple meal delivery services but has been a regular Home Chef user since September 2022 because of its high-quality ingredients and great-tasting meals. “[My husband and I] learned a lot about cooking just from making different recipes,” Emily says in our Home Chef review. “Many of the meals have wonderful sauces that just make the dish absolutely perfect.”

Ingredients for the Honey Butter Pork Chop recipe from the Home Chef meal delivery service.

Emily also notes that placing orders is super easy and scored the ordering process a 5 out of 5. “I get email reminders every week to go select my meals. Once logged in, the first page you see is your upcoming menus. Home Chef automatically selects meals for you based on your stated preferences and the types of meals you’ve selected in the past.”

She adds that the company is quick to fix its occasional mistakes. “While I did have a few issues with incorrect meal kits or ingredients, it is super easy to provide feedback, the responses are quick, and credits are immediately applied to the account for your next meal delivery,” she says.

As a dietitian, I’ve recommended Home Chef many times to athletes and clients who express a desire to have healthy, home-cooked meals, but are short on time. This is because Home Chef gives you a range of options, especially if you adopt a diet that requires you to have a pescatarian or vegetarian meal. For that reason, we rated the meal plans and customization options 4 out of 5 stars.

“Home Chef is a good option for those wanting to learn how to build balanced meals and acquire new cooking skills,” adds Perry Nix, R.D., L.D. “Even if you only use the meal kits short-term, you can mimic the recipes using store-bought ingredients.”

RELATED: High-Protein Vegetables

You can either get the full meal kit, which cuts down on prep but will still take you about 30 minutes to prepare, or you can get the Fast & Fresh or Oven Ready meals that just require you to assemble some ingredients in a tray and pop them in an oven or microwave. 

RELATED: Best Meal Kits

Price per serving$12.06
Type (meal kit or prepared)Meal kit/Prepared
Meals per weekUp to 6
Delivery area Contiguous U.S.
Diets/dietary restrictionsVegetarian, low-carb

Best Meal Delivery Service for Weight Loss: Eat Clean

Good for: Anyone who wants a meal service that has all-natural ingredients and decent macros

Best for Weight Loss

Eat Clean

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Prepared, macro-friendly meals
  • Multiple meal plan options
  • $9.60 - $12.58 per meal
  • Complete nutritional info for every meal
  • Four diet options (traditional, paleo, plant-based, and keto)

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • More than 50 meals to choose from
  • Heat and eat
  • Easy to skip a week or cancel
  • Four diet plans

Cons

  • Meals are hit or miss
  • Complaints of poor customer service

Bottom Line

Eat Clean is a meal delivery service that sends fresh, macro-friendly meals to your door that you just need to heat and eat. Our product tester said the meals were hit or miss, but there were more hits than misses.

Eat Clean’s mission is in the name—a meal delivery service that provides you with meals made with all-natural ingredients and respectable macronutrients, which is why it’s our top choice for people looking for something on the healthier side. Brittany Combs, GGR social media manager and a busy mom of three, says the good news is it doesn’t taste healthy, for the most part.

“Overall the meals were good,” she says. “I loved the sea bass, it was delicious. But the low-carb lasagna was my favorite. It was super cheesy and full of meat.”

She rated the overall meal experience a 3.5 out of 5, saying the vegetables provided with her meals were a little bland. She also noted that any bread products, including her pancakes (OK, it’s not bread but it’s made with flour), all had a “tough” texture.

All meals are shipped frozen and take about two minutes to heat up in the microwave, earning Eat Clean a 5 out of 5 when it comes to ease of preparation. “The only odd note I have is that a lot of times the box the meal is in would curve upwards,” she says.

Brittany says she was satisfied with the portion size, though we do have to clarify she is petite so larger people may not feel quite as satiated. “As long as I ate the whole meal I was sufficiently full,” she says, giving that category a 5 out of 5 as well.

Eat Clean gives you 50 meals to choose from and four meal plan types: traditional (nutritionally-balanced foods made with animal and plant products), plant-based, keto, and paleo. You can choose to receive six, 10, 12, or 14 meals each week and the higher you go, the lower your per-cost meal. Brittany says she was overwhelmed at times with the amount of choices she had.

Price per serving$9.60-$12.58
Type (meal kit or prepared)Prepared
Meals per week6, 10, 12, or 14
Delivery area Contiguous U.S.
Diets/dietary restrictionsTraditional, keto, paleo, plant-based

Best Meal Delivery Service for Prepared Meals: Fresh N Lean

Good for: Those who prefer to reheat their meals rather than prepare them at home

Best for Prepared Meals

Fresh N Lean

GGR Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Meal delivery featuring 7 different meal plans
  • Gluten-free options
  • Non-GMO, no artificial ingredients
  • Paleo, Keto, high protein, and vegan plans
  • A la carte options with a $85 minimum

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free shipping in the Contiguous U.S.
  • Low minimum of meals
  • Over 100 meals to choose from

Cons

  • Very little customization when choosing meal plans
  • Meals can be pricey

Bottom Line

Fresh N Lean is a prepared meal delivery service that has a variety of meal plans to choose from. From those plans, you can choose how many meals you’d like weekly, and notify anyone of food preferences. In addition, you can select exact meals from their A la carte section.

Fresh N Lean is known for having a ton of options (more than 100 meals per week to choose from) and is one of our top picks for prepared meal delivery services due to how well it accommodates special diets like vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, keto, paleo, organic, and more. 

GGR Senior Director of Content and competitive weightlifter Kate Meier loved how simple placing orders was, rating the process a perfect 5 out of 5. “Super easy to do. You can choose to order a la carte, which is what I did so I could pick exactly what I wanted.”

She was also surprised at how good the taste was for pre-made meals—and gave the service another 5 out of 5 for its flavors.

“I was shocked. The meals sounded good, but once I nuked them, I didn’t think by the looks of them that they would taste good. I was surprised! The paleo red pepper chicken with sweet potatoes is delicious. Whatever sauce is on there is perfection, and everything was juicy and moist. The paleo bearnaise grass fed steak with roasted sweet potatoes—wow. The steak was cooked medium and was perfect! Even the brussels sprouts, which looked a little mushy after microwaving, were still a little crispy.” 

It should be noted that Fresh N Lean is better suited for individuals than couples or families. Registered dietitian Perry Nix appreciates the variety of meal plan options and had great things to say about each one. “Fresh N Lean delivers pre-made meals made with whole food, locally grown, nutrient-dense ingredients,” she says.

One downside is that, if you decide it’s not for you, canceling can be a headache. “It says you can do it online, but there was nowhere for me to do this,” Kate says. “I had to directly contact customer support, which is annoying.” Where Fresh N Lean really shines, though, is the pricing, which is among the lowest of the services for cooked meals on this list—enough for it to earn a 4 out of 5 on price. 

Read our full Fresh N Lean meal delivery service review for our complete thoughts.

Price per serving$8.49-$11
Type (meal kit or prepared)Prepared
Meals per week21 or a la carte
Delivery area All 50 U.S. states
Diets/dietary restrictionsProtein-plus, keto, paleo, vegan, Whole30, Mediterranean, low-carb vegan

Best-Tasting Meal Delivery Service: Hungryroot

Good for: People who want delicious meals with minimal prep required

Best-Tasting

Hungryroot

GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Grocery delivery meets meal kit
  • Meal delivery service that sends you ingredients based on recipes you like
  • Many recipes only take 10 minutes to prepare
  • Starts at $70 per box

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Simple and quick
  • Caters to many styles of eating
  • Can add on groceries to your order

Cons

  • You do have to cook
  • Have to meet plan minimum each week (though you can adjust your minimum on a weekly basis)

Bottom Line

Hungryroot offers a unique take on meal delivery, in that you find a recipe you like, and the company will send you all of the ingredients to make it. There are many options for types of food to choose from, and you can even order extra groceries that you might need as well. You do have to cook though, so if that's not interesting to you, this won't be the right plan.

Hungryroot is one of the best meal kits you can order if you want high-quality ingredients for any type of diet—omnivores, vegans, and those with nut or soy allergies (among many others) can find countless meal options that taste great.

GGR Senior Director of Content and weightlifting coach Kate Meier awarded every meal she tried a 5 out of 5 rating. “Everything is so fresh, and you don’t need to do any seasoning because most foods are prepped already for you with spices. If you wanted more salt or whatever, you could add your own.”

Ordering, on the other hand, requires some patience. Kate says in our Hungryroot review, “The first thing you do is take a quiz where you talk about your goals, dietary restrictions, preferred cuisines, and how much you like (or don’t like) cooking. It’s honestly a little confusing.” 

Hungryroot Food In One Delivery

It’s true, when I’ve tried Hungryroot in the past, as much as they allow filtering, the options can be very overwhelming. However, if you want great-tasting, humanely raised meat and dairy with plenty of organic options for fruits and vegetables, Hungryroot’s variety ranks it among the best meal kit delivery services. 

Registered dietitian Perry Nix warns that people with cholesterol issues or anyone else who’s watching their sodium intake might not be the best fit for Hungryroot.

RELATED: Best Organic Protein Powder

Price per serving$10
Type (meal kit or prepared)Meal Kit
Meals per week16
Delivery area Contiguous U.S.
Diets/dietary restrictionsVegan, vegetarian, omnivore, pescatarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, egg-free, shellfish-free

Best Meal Delivery Service for Vegetarian and Vegan Meals: Purple Carrot

Good for: Vegans or those who are struggling to eat more fruits and vegetables on a regular basis

Best for Vegetarian and Vegan Meals

Purple Carrot

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Vegan meal kits and prepared meals
  • Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and pantry items available
  • Boxes ship weekly
  • Quick prep options (meals that take less than 25 minutes)
  • Most non-produce items are organic

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Has meal kits and prepared meals
  • Can choose from the whole menu
  • All meals and snacks are available
  • Menus change weekly

Cons

  • Can’t mix and match meal types
  • No option for add-on proteins
  • Maxes out at 4 meals per week
  • Limited meal choices

Bottom Line

Purple Carrot offers vegan meal kits and prepared meals. There are no specific meal plans, but you can choose from the full menu, which includes breakfasts, lunches, dinners and “plantry” items—add-on products like brownie bites and salad dressing. You can’t mix and match meal types, though.

Since 2014, Purple Carrot has been providing healthy, plant-based meals to people across the country as the first fully vegan meal delivery service. In their mission, they aim to help people integrate more plants into their diets, which is something registered dietitians everywhere can support.

RELATED: Best Healthy Meal Delivery Service

Certified nutrition coach and GGR performance editor Anthony O’Reilly is a flexitarian who enjoys plant-based meals, and he says Purple Carrot’s sloppy tofu Joes were one of the best meals he tried while testing meal delivery services. He was also surprised at how much food he received—Anthony is 6 feet, 3 inches tall and trains almost every day, and even he felt full after every meal.

Purple Carrot Meal Ingredients

“Actually quite generous for a plant-based meal service,” he says, giving the portion sizes a 4 out of 5 rating. However, if you’re looking for transparent nutritional information, we noted that it’s not as accessible as other services unless you choose their “high protein” meals.

The ease of preparation was simple enough, but Anthony ended up rating it a 3 out of 5 because he felt the recipes weren’t as thorough as they could’ve been. “I always dry-pat my tofu before cooking it, but I didn’t notice that in the recipe,” he says in our Purple Carrot review. “It’s not the biggest thing in the world, but a step like that can easily improve your end product—but that’s not something that many American home cooks know.”

That said, if you have some patience and know how to improvise in the kitchen, Purple Carrot could be a foolproof way to eat more plant-based meals, especially if you’re a busy vegan or vegetarian who is looking for an easier way to meal prep. 

Perry Nix, a registered dietitian, says Purple Carrot is a great option for all types of eaters, though he and Anthony note the variety isn’t the best. “A plant-based diet can help reduce inflammation and decrease your risk of developing a chronic disease,” Nix says.

RELATED: Best Vegan Protein Powder

Price per serving$13.25
Type (meal kit or prepared)Meal Kit
Meals per weekUp to 4
Delivery area Contiguous U.S.
Diets/dietary restrictionsVegetarian, vegan, nut-free, soy-free, high-protein, gluten-free

Best Keto Meal Delivery Service: Factor 75

Good for: Keto dieters who have trouble preparing the right meals

Best Keto

Factor75

GGR Score: 4.03 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Heat-and-eat meals that are delivered weekly
  • Five menu plans, including calorie-controlled and keto
  • Can mix and match from different menu plans for more variety
  • New menus drop weekly
  • Can order up to 18 meals per week

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Not restricted to one specific diet plan
  • Meals arrive fresh and ready to heat
  • Offers options for different dietary preferences
  • Can cancel or skip a delivery anytime

Cons

  • No options for customization
  • No personalized plans for weight loss

Bottom Line

Factor75 is a heat-and-eat delivery service that works well for those on specialized diets. Boxes are delivered weekly, and you can mix and match from different menu plans to maximize your menu variety.

For those who are trying a specialty diet, such as keto or plant-based, but don’t have the time to plan the meals around their macros, Factor provides microwavable, single-serving meals that make life much easier. If you are an athlete or otherwise have to consume a lot of calories, you don’t have to worry about the portions, either. 

Our tester Amanda Capritto, former GGR senior staff writer and certified sports nutrition coach, gave Factor a nearly perfect score of 4.5 out of 5 when it came to portion sizes. “This is the only meal service I tried that had ample portions! These meals can fill up a triathlete in the middle of a tough training block, so they can fill up just about anyone.”

That said, if you are going for weight loss, be aware that some meals can be more than 800 calories, though there are some as low as 350 calories. “This wide range in calories makes Factor appropriate for those wanting to lose weight and those who just want to eat more nutrient-dense foods without cutting calories.”

As far as taste? We had mixed reviews, to put it simply. “Better than OK, but not great,” Amanda says in our Factor Meals review, “I think my expectations were a little too high due to all the rave about this brand. I can make better food for sure, but the convenience makes the ‘just-decent’ taste more tolerable.” Ultimately, she awarded the meals a 4 out of 5 on taste.

Factor Meals Chicken Alfredo With Broccoli

There are a lot of meals to choose from, but Amanda ended up scoring it a 4 out of 5 on variety because she noticed a pattern in the rotating menu. “The meals all have the same format: a protein and a side of veggies and/or grains,” she says. “While you do get to enjoy different flavor profiles, you’ll eventually notice that you’re eating the same kind of meal over and over.”

In short, this is an excellent service for people following a low-carb diet who appreciate generous portions.

RELATED: Best Keto Protein Powder

Price per serving$12.99
Type (meal kit or prepared)Prepared
Meals per weekUp to 18
Delivery area Contiguous U.S.
Diets/dietary restrictionsKeto, flexitarian, protein-plus, vegan and vegetarian

Best Meal Delivery Service for Families: HelloFresh

Good for: Busy parents who want to provide nutritious meals for the whole family

Best for Families

HelloFresh

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Meal service that delivers ingredients and recipes
  • 6 different plans available, including vegan and pescatarian options
  • Can swap out different proteins and sides
  • Can purchase between 2 and 6 meals, in portions to feed 2 or 4 people
  • 40 weekly recipes to choose from
  • Sourced from U.S. farmers

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Saves on meal-prepping
  • Can swap out ingredients
  • Chef-curated recipes
  • Sourced from U.S. farmers
  • 6 meal plans to choose from

Cons

  • Customer reviews complain about ingredient inconsistencies
  • Some reviews claim meal portions are small

Bottom Line

HelloFresh is a subscription meal delivery service that provides ingredients and recipes for weekly meals. They provide six different plans, including plant-based, pescatarian, and quick and easy meals. Additionally, 40 different recipes are available each week, and proteins and sides can be swapped out as needed. The subscription is flexible, as you can skip a week, pause, or cancel your account at any time.

HelloFresh’s website crowns itself as “America’s most popular meal kit.” I have a confession to make: I, a registered dietitian, use HelloFresh for most of my meals. I simply love the variety and the cool recipe cards you can keep and use as repeat meals. It is constantly giving me new ideas for nutritious meals to make when I’m sick of coming up with options on my own. 

But some people had different experiences. GGR team member Ashley rated the service’s ingredient quality a 3.5 out of 5. “Despite the name, I’ve had many experiences where my food from HelloFresh wasn’t as fresh as I’d like,” she says in our HelloFresh review, specifying that the issue mostly happens with fruits and vegetables. “I don’t usually have issues with the meat or dairy products.”

Hello Fresh Spaghetti Meal

The recipe cards are so easy to follow, they can make a great family-friendly activity to involve your children in, so it’s great for introducing them to making home-cooked meals. Ashley agrees, rating the preparation a 4 out of 5 for the quick prep and cleanup times.

The one thing I don’t like about the recipes is they very often include sour cream and cream sauces. So, I like to substitute with more heart-healthy ingredients like Greek yogurt when appropriate. 

Fellow registered dietitian and mother Perry Nix also loves the convenience and ability to include children in the kitchen, but agrees HelloFresh recipes lack variety for specialty dieters.

“This is a good option for anyone who would rather eat their food hot off the stove instead of reheated in the microwave,” she says.

Price per servingAround $9.99
Type (meal kit or prepared)Meal Kit
Meals per weekUp to 8
Delivery area Contiguous U.S.
Diets/dietary restrictionsVegetarian, fit & wholesome, pescatarian

Best Frozen Meal Delivery Service: 518 Kitchen

Good for: Carb-conscious individuals looking for a lightning cooking time

Best Frozen

518 Kitchen

GGR Score: 4.1 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Individually packaged frozen meals
  • Suits low-carb and keto lifestyles 
  • Reheat in the microwave or oven
  • Gluten-free

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Entire menu is gluten-free
  • BPA-free plastic tray packaging
  • Plastic film is microwave and oven-safe
  • Flash-frozen to preserve freshness
  • No subscription plans, order at your convenience

Cons

  • No app, website ordering only
  • Minimum order is $75
  • No package deals, meals are priced individually

Bottom Line

518 Kitchen delivers low-carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free meals right to your door. While there is a minimum order amount of $75, there are no subscription models and you can order food whenever you like. The company is based in the Adirondack mountain region of New York and is committed to utilizing local produce and responsibility sourced proteins.

What sets 518 Kitchen apart from similar services is that you can order as much food as you want a la carte. Since there are no restrictions on frequency or quantity, it’s an excellent option for large families or individuals who like to stay stocked with meal prep, especially since the meals are frozen and can be kept on hand for a long time.

How do these frozen meals taste? Competitive weightlifter and GGR Senior Director of Content Kate Meier rated it a 4 out of 5. “Overall, really good. They taste like a good frozen meal. The vegetables got soggy, as frozen vegetables often do. However, the egg bites were so salty, I literally couldn’t eat them.” She goes on to say in our 518 Kitchen Meal review that that was her only bad experience, however. “Overall, great selection of meals if you are keto/low-carb,” Kate continues. “This isn’t the meal service for you if you want rice and potatoes and bread.”

Kate appreciates the ease of adding meals a la carte, or adding bulk items such as salmon as a “meal,” and as a result gave the ordering process a 5 out of 5.

518 Kitchen Chicken Fajita Bowl

In contrast with most services, 518 Kitchen delivers to Alaska and Hawaii, but residents will have to pay an additional $50 for overnight air shipping, which is the only option for these regions. Just remember, this is a keto service so, if you’re not low carb, you might prefer another frozen meal service.

Although registered dietitian Perry Nix says the keto diet may be difficult to follow long term, she says there’s a lot to like about 518 Kitchen’s food. “Because the meals are high in fat and include moderate amounts of protein, you’ll feel fuller for longer, which could promote weight loss.”

Price per serving$10-$15
Type (meal kit or prepared)Prepared
Meals per weekCustomizable
Delivery area All 50 U.S. States
Diets/dietary restrictionsKeto, keto-friendly, low-carb

Best Organic Meal Delivery Service: Green Chef

Good for: Those who want an organic meal and don’t require larger portions

Best Organic

Green Chef

GGR Score: 3.92 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Certified organic meal kit delivery service
  • Meal kits can feed two, four, or six people
  • New menus drop weekly; you can choose from 32 meals each week
  • Add-ons, like prepared breakfasts and salads, available for an extra charge
  • Delivers almost everywhere in the continental U.S.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers several specialized diet plans
  • Can mix and match meal plans
  • New meals drop weekly
  • Most ingredients are organic and high-quality

Cons

  • On the expensive side (but ingredients are organic)
  • Shipping fee

Bottom Line

If you want high-quality and/or organic ingredients, Green Chef is a good option that can feed two to six people per recipe. There are several specialized diets to choose from, and you can mix and match from weekly menus to suit your needs.

Green Chef is a company that prides itself on using exclusively organic produce, which is perfect for those who want to take advantage of the ease that meal kits provide without sacrificing their health values. Our tester for our Green Chef reviews, GGR Head of Content and Precision Nutrition Level 1 Nutrition Coach Nicole Davis, did not find the meals substantial, however. 

“I’m not impressed with the portion size—this is the only service I tried in which I felt this way,” she says, rating it a 3 out of 5. “With the other meal kits, I ate one portion for dinner and saved the other for lunch the next day, but I couldn’t do that with this service.”

She loved the quality of flavor, though, rating it a 4.5 out of 5. “The Monterey jack cheese-smothered chicken with mushrooms and squash was delicious,” she says. “So were the chicken burrito bowls.”

Eating A Green Chef Meal 1

Green Chef shines when it comes to sustainability. “Packaging is all eco-friendly and recyclable; they only use organic ingredients and prioritize local farmers.”

Overall, registered dietitian Perry Nix is a fan of Green Chef though she notes there are few to no heart-friendly meals, something that can be found in other services.

Just note that Green Chef does not deliver to parts of Louisiana and you are limited to just four meals a week. Considering this constraint and the portion quality, Green Chef probably won’t be a good option for large families.

Price per serving$12.99
Type (meal kit or prepared)Meal Kit
Meals per week4
Delivery area Most of Contiguous U.S.
Diets/dietary restrictionsMediterranean, plant-based, protein-packed, keto, gluten-free

Best Gluten-Free Meal Delivery Service: Magic Kitchen

Good for: People with certain dietary restrictions who don’t mind frozen, pre-made meals

Best Gluten-Free

Magic Kitchen

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Frozen ingredients 
  • Semi-prepared food 
  • Easy to follow instructions
  • No automatic shipping

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The food is all gluten-free and great for those with dietary restrictions
  • There is a wide variety of fish, meats, carbs, and vegetables
  • Products are both sold a la carte and as complete meals

Cons

  • The meal bundle cannot be customized
  • No free shipping
  • No smartphone app to manage subscription

Bottom Line

Magic Kitchen is a meal delivery service that is entirely gluten-free with other options for those with dietary restrictions. The service allows you to individually select the meals that you would like, but you cannot choose auto shipments. Products range from $9.99 to $392.99 depending on whether you buy individual dishes or the gluten-free meal bundle.

Magic Kitchen is known to cater to people who have specific dietary needs. These special diets could be due to certain diseases or disorders, which is why this service provides Medicaid home food delivery. The single-serving meals make eating nutritious meals simple for people such as the elderly who have limited mobility or general ability to cook their own meals. Even though the meals are frozen, there are plenty of low sodium options for those who need a heart healthy meal. 

RELATED: Best Heart Healthy Meal Delivery

Our tester, GGR intern Stephanie, rated the ordering process a perfect 5 out of 5. “They have a wide selection of meals and dishes,” she says in our Magic Kitchen review. “Overall, I think this could be a good option for someone who is gluten-free. Some of their products are renal friendly, diabetic friendly, or dialysis friendly.”

Registered dietitian Perry Nix agrees. “When you have heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease, it can be incredibly challenging to navigate your changing diet,” she says. “Magic Kitchen could be a convenient tool for those who are unsure how to eat to manage their condition.”

The feedback on flavor was mixed and earned a 3 out of 5 on taste. “The food was very good. The corned beef, salmon, veggie stew, and chicken was very flavorful,” Stephanie says. “Some foods, such as the beef bourguignon, rice with mixed vegetables, and the mashed potatoes were bland. I did not like the strawberry milkshakes because they tasted very artificial.”

Magic Kitchen All The Food Received

Like 518 Kitchen’s frozen meals, you can order as much as you like, which is great for people who want to keep many meals on hand that help them adhere to any dietary restrictions they may have. 

Price per serving$10-15
Type (meal kit or prepared)Prepared
Meals per weekCustomizable
Delivery area Contiguous U.S.
Diets/dietary restrictionsGluten-free, diabetes-friendly, dairy-free, gluten-free, low-fat, low-sodium, low-carb, vegetarian

Meal Delivery Service for Dietary Restrictions: Sunbasket

Good for: People with food allergies or other dietary restrictions

Best for Dietary Restrictions

Sunbasket

GGR Score: 3.76 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Meal kits and prepared meals
  • Paleo, soy-free, dairy-free, diabetes-friendly, and vegan options available
  • Can add snacks and extra proteins to your box
  • Cooked breakfast options available
  • Meal kits serve two to four

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Caters to many allergens and preferences
  • Can order breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus snacks
  • A la carte proteins available
  • Offers both meal kits and prepared meals
  • Most produce is organic

Cons

  • Can’t mix and match meal types
  • Meal kit caps at five dinners per week

Bottom Line

Sunbasket is an organic meal delivery service that offers meal kits and prepared meals. There are many allergen-friendly meal options available, and options to add extra protein and cooked breakfasts a la carte. You can’t mix and match meal types, but you can switch off each week if you want.

One of the most unique features of Sunbasket that makes it one of the best meal delivery services, in my opinion, is the option to choose between meal kits or ready meals. The ready meals can have dinner ready in 5 minutes or less or, if you enjoy cooking, the meal kits take an average of 30 minutes to prepare. Certified sports nutrition coach and former GGR senior staff writer Amanda Capritto says the variety is a 5 out of 5 regardless of which option you pick.

“You could easily use this subscription for several months without getting bored,” she explains in our full Sunbasket review.

Amanda, a competitive triathlete, knocked the service on its portion size, which she rated a 3 out of 5. “So far, the portion sizes have been on the small side,” she says. “The pulled pork slider meal, for example, came with four very small slider buns and I knew it wouldn’t be enough to feed me, who’s actively training for a huge endurance event, and my boyfriend.”

Amanda, unfortunately, also had a bad experience with some not-so-fresh fresh ingredients. “The first meal I tried included a couple of small steaks and the quality was not good,” she reports. “For example, the package of sirloin tips that I got for one of the meal kits was questionable (the vacuum seal was busted and the meat smelled icky upon opening)—enough so that I threw it out and used meat I had in the freezer from grocery shopping.” However, she mentions that there were other meals of excellent quality. 

Preparing Sunbasket Meal

Sunbasket offers meal options that fit almost any diet, including those for people dealing with allergens or other dietary restrictions, making it worth a try for people who need those options.

“Sunbasket offers a variety of protein sources that you don’t see with some other meal delivery services,” says registered dietitian Perry Nix. “Many meals include protein from seafood like salmon, shrimp, and scallops, which are sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.”

RELATED: High-Protein Meals

Price per serving$10-14
Type (meal kit or prepared)Meal Kit or Prepared
Meals per week4
Delivery area Contiguous U.S. excluding MT, ND, and parts of NM
Diets/dietary restrictionsPaleo, vegetarian, gluten-free, carb-conscious, keto-friendly, Mediterranean, diabetes-friendly, pescatarian

Best Budget Meal Delivery Service: Dinnerly

Good for: People seeking an affordable meal delivery service with no fancy requirements

Best Budget

Dinnerly

GGR Score: 3.96 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Meal delivery kit with fresh ingredients
  • Over 100 recipes to choose from
  • Flexible subscription
  • Prices start around $11 per meal

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fresh ingredients
  • Recipe cards for easy preparation
  • Edit, pause, or cancel subscription at any time
  • Ability to choose your delivery day of the week

Cons

  • Fresh ingredients need to be cooked within 4 days of delivery
  • Meal selection only after signing up and entering payment information

Bottom Line

Skip the food shopping and the chopping—Dinnerly is a meal kit service that sends you fresh ingredients right to your door with most of the food preparation already done. You’ll need to sign up and provide credit card information before browsing the menu and making your selection. Meals start around $11, but the more meals in your weekly subscription, you’ll receive a slight price break.

Dinnerly is a meal delivery service whose promotions can bring the cost down as low as $1.99 per meal, which is insanely cheap for fully prepared meals like these. Seriously, most frozen dinners at the grocery store cost more than that. Like other meal delivery services, Dinnerly offers pre-made frozen meals for those looking for maximum convenience as well as meal kits for those who still want to do some cooking (but don’t want to bother with food shopping).

RELATED: Best Prepared Meal Delivery

Nicole Davis, GGR Head of Content and Precision Nutrition Level 1 Nutrition Coach, tried both. The ordering process, she says, is a 5 out of 5. “After you decide on frequency you take a short quiz about what types of food you like and it caters the available recipes each week toward your taste,” she says.

Woman making turkey taquitos from Dinnerly

Taste was a different story, with Dinnerly’s overall flavor score landing at a 3 out of 5. Nicole says she wasn’t impressed by most of the pre-made selections. The beef stir-fry meal “tasted like a Lean Cuisine, to be honest. It has better ingredient quality and definitely less sodium than a TV dinner but very similar taste vibes.”

She was much more impressed with the meal kits’ ingredients and recipes. “The pastrami-crusted steak with an everything bagel potato was delicious! Would definitely order again,” she said in our Dinnerly review. And as a busy mother of three, she was also happy with the cleanup. “For ready-made meals, there’s no cleanup—score! For other meals, I’d say about 10 minutes on average.”

Portion sizes were OK for her, but her husband still felt hungry after most meals.

Registered dietitian Perry Nix says Dinnerly is a great option for those trying to save money and learn healthier eating habits. “By simply cooking at home, you’re likely consuming fewer calories, salt, and saturated fat than you would be if you ordered a meal at a restaurant.”

You also have to be vigilant and timely with your orders. Nicole reported that she had to hand-pick her recipes every week since there are no set meal plans available. Dinnerly, at least, provides budget-conscious people who aren’t picky eaters with their flavor preferences all the convenience of more expensive delivery services.

Price per servingStarts at $4.99
Type (meal kit or prepared)Prepared
Meals per weekUp to 6
Delivery area Contiguous U.S.
Diets/dietary restrictionsVegetarian, vegan, low-carb

Other Meal Delivery Services We Researched

  • Daily Harvest: Daily Harvest is a plant-based frozen meal delivery service that provides wholesome, nutrient-dense meals and snacks. The menu is made up of low-calorie smoothies, grain bowls, flatbreads, and soups. If you’re looking for a meal delivery service that supports high-protein diets, this is not the subscription plan for you. 
  • CookUnity: CookUnity is a weekly meal delivery service that brings fresh meals prepared and cooked by professionally trained chefs directly to your door. 
  • Blue Apron: Blue Apron is a meal kit delivery service that sends you everything you need for a fun, tasty meal right to your door. While there are many meal plans to choose from (including veggie, family-friendly, and wellness) this might not be the best option if you’re looking for a meal delivery service specific to weight loss. Learn more in our Blue Apron review.
  • Every Plate: EveryPlate is a low-cost meal kit delivery service that offers new meals weekly. If you don’t have dietary restrictions or need to follow a specialized diet, it could be a good option for you.

RELATED: Blue Apron vs HelloFresh vs Home Chef

How We Picked and Tested the Best Meal Delivery Services

Our GGR expert testers actually tested every meal delivery service featured in this roundup. Although some things like taste are subjective, each tester was tasked with rating over 10 categories on a 1-to-5-star rating using an in-depth testing methodology. Here is a sampling of testing categories and how scoring works: 

  • Price per serving: Meals can range from $5 to $15 per meal. For a meal delivery company to earn low scores in the price category, the price per meal was over $14. For high scores in this category, the company averaged $8 per meal or less. 
  • Ordering flexibility: If a company scored low in this category, it means the website or app was hard to use, confusing, or difficult to cancel meal subscriptions. High scores in this category allow users to browse menu items, easily place orders, and skip shipments. 
  • Taste: The lowest scores were given to meal deliveries that were horrendous. The highest scores were reserved for meal services that tasted good and left the tester wanting to try it again. 
  • Variety: Low scores were given to meal services with menus lacking either variety or abundance of options. Companies with rotating menus or the ability to choose from a wide selection of menu items earned the highest scores in this category. 
  • Meal plans and customization: Meal services lacking customization or a variety of meal plan options received low scores in this category. High scores were given to companies offering customization, at least four meal plans to choose from, and common allergens called out.  

Benefits of Meal Delivery Services

If you’re worried about whether or not the cost is worth what you get, you’re not alone. Even I scoffed at the overload of HelloFresh ads on social media as something reserved for the elite. However, these services have plenty of benefits to make them worth the cost—and some may even save you money in the end. 

Meal Prep

Whether you are trying to lose weight, go keto, or gain muscle, meal planning and prep is the most efficient way to meet these goals, but it’s also the most daunting for most people. Thus, having meal prep service with pre-made meals that require little to no grocery shopping can be a lifesaver. 

Eases Home-Cooking

Registered dietitians love meal kits as they are something we often recommend to people who want to stop eating out so much for budget or health reasons (often both), but don’t know how to get started cooking from home. Meal kit delivery services can help one build their confidence in the kitchen and even provide them with a library of new recipe cards to try some meals on their own. 

Great for Busy Adults and Parents

For parents with many children or just families with many members, having enough food to feed everyone delivered right to your door is an attractive way to keep the whole family nourished without the usual hassle. 

Convenient for Special Diets

No matter what the case is, seeing if a meal delivery service can accommodate the diet that’s best for you is half the battle. The other half is also making sure they have enough variety within these options, as I’m sure those who are gluten-free would get tired of the same three cauliflower flatbread or chickpea pasta recipes pretty fast.

Reduces Food Waste

When you go grocery shopping, you normally end up spending a lot on ingredients for a single recipe, which could lead to food waste. An August 2019 study2 found that meal kits cut food waste and carbon emissions significantly. While there are some concerns with the packaging, the researchers say the emissions lowered by less food waste outweigh any packaging concerns.

Buying Guide: How To Shop for the Best Meal Delivery Service

With so many options available, here are some things to consider when comparison shopping:

High-Quality Ingredients

Many companies provide information about where produce and protein are sourced from, but if organic and local ingredients are super important to you, a meal delivery service might not be the best option. While not all services offer food sourcing information, we suggest choosing a company that provides nutritional information on the website and on the packaging. Plus, if you have dietary restrictions, you’ll have to pay special attention to be sure ingredients suit your needs.

Trifecta chicken broccoli casserole prepared meal delivery

Pricing

Our team is always looking for the best bang for your buck—whether it’s for the best treadmill for home gyms or the best pre-workout on the market—and meal services are no different. With the price per meal ranging from $5 to $15, there is some gray area on which service is right for you. When shopping, we suggest creating a budget on what you’re willing to spend per week (or month) and sticking to it. Most of the services we reviewed don’t eliminate grocery store runs, so keep in mind that you’ll likely still have a grocery bill. 

Portion Sizes

While not all meal delivery services are crazy expensive, they’re not always exactly cheap, either. That’s why it’s important to consider how substantial the portions are for your chosen company, especially if you are an athlete or active individual who eats a lot and often. Thus, we tested these services to see the portions for ourselves and made sure to note if they weren’t up to our satisfaction. 

Preparation

You’ll be able to find frozen prepared meals, fresh prepared meals, meal kits that are partially prepared, and straight-up grocery delivery. We suggest making sure you know which style of meals and ingredients you’re getting so there are no surprises. There are some companies (like Sunbasket) that offer both meal kits and prepared meals. 

Side note: If you don’t know your way around a kitchen, a meal kit can be a fun way to learn to cook for yourself with step-by-step instructions and the exact ingredients you need (save salt, pepper, and cooking oils). 

Delivery Option

You may notice that most meal delivery services are subscription-based companies. While it’s not inherently bad, you’ll need to compare how often you want the meals to the frequency allowed with the meal service. Some deliver on a weekly cadence and let you skip deliveries manually while others let you space out deliveries up to three or four weeks. 

Dietary Options and Variety Meal Options

If you plan on getting home-delivered meals long-term, it’s important to go with a company that gives you plenty to choose from on the weekly menu, so you aren’t sick of the recipes after just a couple of weeks. That said, some people love to eat all of the same things all the time for simplicity and reliability. In any case, we made sure to include services that suit both types of eating habits. 

And if you follow a specialty diet or have dietary restrictions, make sure the meal plan you’re choosing is either customizable or offers a plan that fits your needs. 

Sustainability Efforts

One of the most attractive features of meal kit delivery services is also its biggest point of scrutiny: packaging. People who have used these services will tell you how heavenly it is to go through their little recipe card and follow the instructions by simply opening up the package of their next ingredient and adding it to their meal in progress. 

However, with frequent usage and deliveries, this can add up to a lot of waste, especially with plastic packaging. So, we wanted to support home food delivery services that are environmentally responsible, use recyclable and compostable materials, and offset carbon emissions.

Meal Delivery Services FAQs

Are meal delivery services healthy?

Meal delivery services can be healthy if you make the right choices. Registered dietitians can help you choose the best meal delivery services for you, your goals, and your specific health state, if necessary.

What type of meal delivery service is best for me?

There are plenty of meal kits that cater to particular needs. For example, if you’re a picky eater or have a special diet or allergies, finding a service that has many meal options for different dietary preferences would be best. If you have a family, need variety, or are very active and need large portions, a service that doesn’t cap its number of meals per order would be ideal.

Are delivered meal plans worth it?

When you consider the convenience of delivered meal plans, you may think it’s worth it if you’re struggling with preparing your own healthy meals or you already order takeout but know you could spend your cash on more nutritious foods.

Is Blue Apron worth it?

Blue Apron is a weekly meal kit service that’s family-friendly. In addition to entrees, it offers add-ons like soups and flatbreads to make your healthy meal more substantial. Depending on your needs in terms of the number of meals, Blue Apron could be worth it for you.

Is HelloFresh expensive?

The expense depends heavily on your budget. However, given that the service only provides you with the amount of food you need with nothing left over, it actually is a cost-effective option to reduce food waste in the household. Plus, at an average of $9.99 a meal, it’s not much more expensive than takeout.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

  1. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans_2020-2025.pdf
  2. Heard, B. R., Bandekar, M., Vassar, B., & Miller, S. A. (2019). Comparison of life cycle environmental impacts from meal kits and grocery store meals. In Resources, Conservation and Recycling (Vol. 147, pp. 189–200). Elsevier BV. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.04.008

Further reading

NordicTrack 2950 Review (2024): A Great High-End Treadmill Due for an Update Cover Image
NordicTrack 2950 Review (2024): A Great High-End Treadmill Due for an Update

In our NordicTrack 2950 review, we break down the pros and cons of this high-tech, highly adjustable commercial treadmill. Read more

Squat Anatomy: How Mechanics Are Influenced By Your Body Makeup Cover Image
Squat Anatomy: How Mechanics Are Influenced By Your Body Makeup

Here we break down squat anatomy and squat biomechanics, plus how different factors can impact how you perform the classic squat. Read more

11 At-Work Stretches to Loosen Up At the Office Cover Image
11 At-Work Stretches to Loosen Up At the Office

Many of us spend almost 2,000 hours per year working from our desks. Here we have 11 at-work stretches you can do to combat pain. Read more

Supersize Your Pressing Strength With The Floor Press Exercise Cover Image
Supersize Your Pressing Strength With The Floor Press Exercise

The floor press exercise can help safely supersize your upper body strength and size. Here is how to do it. Read more